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[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013

"SWAVESEY, (or Swasey), a parish in the hundred of Papworth, county Cambridge, 3 miles south-east of St. Ive, its post town, and 11; north-west of Cambridge. It is a station on the Great Eastern railway. The village, which is large, is situated on the river Ouse, near the Huntingdon and Cambridge road. It was formerly a market town, under a charter granted to the Zouch family in 1243, the site of whose ancient castle is about half a mile south-west of the church. A Black alien priory was founded here soon after the Conquest, as a cell to the abbey of SS. Sergius and Bachus, and that of St. Briocus at Angiers. It was afterwards given by Richard II. to St. Anne's Priory, at Coventry. Upon the enclosure of the parish by Act of Parliament in 1838, an allotment of 5 acres was made for the purpose of recreation. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely, value £428, in the patronage of Jesus College, Cambridge. The church, dedicated to St. Andrew, anciently belonged to the alien priory. The interior contains a piscina, stone stalls, niches, and the grave of Lady Cutts. The registers date from 1576 for marriages, and from 1613 for deaths. Ockley, the Arabic scholar, once vicar, &c., died here in 1720. The parochial charities produce about £64 per annum. There is a National school for both sexes, which was erected in 1842. The Baptists and Unitarians have chapels. There is a Sunday-school, held at the National schoolhouse. The Hon. Mrs. Ryder is lady of the manor.

[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]


  • The Monumental Inscriptions in the graveyards of St Andrew and St Stephen are recorded in the Cambridge Records Office for the years 1631-1980. The non-conformist cemetery is transcribed for the years 1856-1980. These inscriptions, for both churches, are also available on microfiche from the Cambridgeshire Family History Society Publications list (search)





Church History

  • "The church of St. Andrew, originally attached to the priory, is a building of stone in the Early English and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel with aisles, or chantries, clerestoried nave of six bays, aisles, south porch and a western tower containing 6 bells: on the south side of the chancel are fine sedilia and piscina of the Decorated period: the entrance to the south chantry, rebuilt by Thomas Cockayne in 1852, is by two fine Early English arches, and it has Late Perpendicular sedilia; in this chantry is a quasi-classic marble tomb, to Anne (Kempe), wife of Sir John Cutts kt. of Childerley, who died 13th March, 1631; the inscription also mentions John Kempe, Cardinal Archbishop of York, and many other members of that and allied families; over the inscription is a shield with 9 quartering, another with 22, and other impaled coats on separate escutcheons; both chantries are inclosed by modern open screens of oak, in the Perpendicular style: the chancel is fitted with good modern stalls, restored from an old design and has an altar-piece representing the "Crucifixion" the south aisle retains an Early English piscina: the chancel arch is a fine example of 13th century work, and is fitted with a modern screen with halfgroined rood loft above: the north aisle with carved finals contains good old oak stalls: the font is Perpendicular, and lying near it are four Early English coffin slabs, with crosses: in 1867 the church was beautifully restored, principally at the expense of the Hon. Mrs. Dudley Ryder, daughter of Thomas Cockayne, late of Ickleton House, Hitchin: there are 500 sittings. The baptismal register dates from 1576; that for marriages and burials from 1613. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value about £ 170, including 3 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Master and Fellows of Jesus College, Cambridge, and held since 1895 by the Rev. Arthur Coleman Vidler M.A. of that college. The St. Peter's Church Mission house, at the south end of the village, erected in 1893 at a cost of £265, on land presented by the Master and Fellows of Trinity College Cambridge, is a wooden building and will seat 100 people John Jones Bush esq. of the Grange, Hilperton, Wilts, is the owner of the great or rectorial tithes, valued at about £ 550 a year.
  • Here are two Baptist chapels, one for Primitive Methodists, and a Friends' Meeting House.
  • A Bethel Baptist chapel, built by subscription, in 1868, at a cost of about £ 850, is of brick, and will hold about 420 persons. "
    [Kelly's Directory Cambridgeshire - 1900]

Church Records

  • Church of England
    • Swavesey, St Andrew: The original records of baptisms from 1576, marriages and deathes from 1613, are held at the church. Microfilm copies of the records of baptisms 1576-1713, 1732-56, 1773-1876, marriages 1613-89, 1701-1876, and burials 1613-89, 1701-1876 reside in the Cambridgeshire Archives.The Bishop's Transcripts for the years 1599-1684 and 1712-1851 can be found in the Cambridge University Library. Indexed transcripts exist in Cambridgeshire Archives for baptisms 1576-1876, marriages 1599-1689, 1701-1876, and burials 1599-1689, 1701-1876. The Swavesey Parish Record transcripts for the years 1576-1875 are available on microfiche from the Cambridgeshire Family History Society Publications list (search)
  • Quakers
  • Methodist
    • Wesleyan Methodist Church: Records exist at the Cambridgeshire Archives for the Cambridge Wesleyan Circuit of which Swavesey is part.


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Military History



  • Land Tax: records were compiled afresh each year and contain the names of owners and occupiers in each parish, but usually there is no address or place name. These records reside in the Cambridgeshire Archives for the years 1798 (on microfilm), 1829-32 and 1880-1948.